Institutional transphobia meant that this policy affected many trans women too, as they were incorrectly considered as "men who have sex with men.
All Out has been working for a few years to raise awareness about this situation, and push for change.
In 2016, we launched #WastedBlood, a powerful campaign to show Brazil how much blood is wasted in the country due to sheer prejudice. We literally drove a truck filled with hundreds of bags of (fake) blood through the streets of São Paulo. Watch the video.
Authorities managed to keep that conversation quiet – until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. With so many blood donors staying home, blood stock levels across Brazil hit a critically low level.
The country's Supreme Court then resumed debate around a legal action that called for the lifting of the restrictions on men who have sex with men.
Igor Lima, an activist in Southern Brazil, launched a petition on All Out's platform calling on the Supreme Court to review the country's policy. More than 31,700 people signed, and it worked: the ban was lifted.
Watch this video from Igor:
Shortly after, a collective of organizations teamed up to launch another petition on our platform, this time calling for the Ministry of Health to implement the Supreme Court decision so that people of all sexual orientations could donate blood, provided they respected all other safety procedures.
In just a few days, more than 15,200 people signed the petition. And their voice was heard: the Ministry sent out official notices to all blood donation centers in the country with the new policies in place.
Thousands of healthy people who were only rejected for blood donations because of prejudiced, decades-old policies will now be able to save lives all over Brazil!